The Podcast: Dr. Rebecca Huntley says don’t bring up climate at Christmas dinner

The Podcast

The Podcast: Dr. Rebecca Huntley says don’t bring up climate at Christmas dinner

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Social researcher Dr. Rebecca Huntley is the author of “How to Talk About Climate Change in a Way that Makes a Difference.” Her advice about squabbling with your family about climate change: Don’t do it. She discusses the proper times, venues and techniques for climate conversations that really matter. Plus: Human-made stuff will soon outweigh all living things and Jared gives (satirical) tips for a greener holiday. (News starts at minute 0:43. Interview at 1:35. Commentary at 21:10.)

In this episode…

  • Jared opens with his usual brief news report, this time with new research suggesting “anthropogenic matter,” i.e. human-made artifacts, will soon weigh 1 trillion tons — more than all living things on Earth. 
  • Next, Rebecca Huntley discusses how we as individuals can use our interactions with others to make a difference for the climate. She says, first, to pick your battles: Bring up the topic tactfully with your supervisor at work, at church or city council meetings — in contexts that will affect dollars and votes. Also, be sensitive to issues that are important to the one you’re speaking with — such as the economy, jobs or public health — and explain how they relate to climate change. And don’t forget to focus on positive opportunities rather than only the doom-and-gloom.
  • Finally, Jared give his top ten every day things you can do to make the holiday a little greener, things like turning down the thermostat, using re-usable shopping bags, ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and pressuring Brazil to protect the amazon — small things anyone can do. Ok, you caught us — these “tips” are a parody of how corporations shift responsibility away from tycoons and policymakers and onto individual consumers. But you can read our genuine lifestyle advice on our new Climate & Style newsletter and section.

Written by

Jared Downing

Jared Downing is managing editor of Climate & Capital Media. Before Climate&Capital, he spent five years in Yangon, Myanmar, producing the human rights podcast Doh Athan and producing features, columns, and cartoons for Frontier Myanmar, that country's leading English language magazine. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer in Birmingham Alabama, focusing on city culture and social justice.